approved-stampFor years we have always done milestone approvals either by verbal approval or simple email confirmations. When I used to work at Refinery (now G2) we tried doing the legal / contract version of project approvals. I found that method to be cumbersome and difficult to quickly deploy. We’ve decided to try something new and I think it’s worth sharing. We’ve decided to use Wufoo. Using this service we can share pre-developed approval forms which log client acceptance along the development process.

I’ve blogged about Wufoo in the past. I think these guys are one of the most underated Web 2.0 companies out there. Their interfaces a rocking and their shit just works real well. We’ve setup about 14 pre-defined forms, which can be shared with our clients for approvals which take less then 30 seconds to read and submit.

Here is an example.
wufoo-form
Here is what we are hoping to achieve with this shift in our process:

Deliberate Action. It’s too easy for a client to just give verbal approval, or reply to an email. Filling out a short form is a deliberate step which requires the user to read before taking action. It falls outside the normal workflow enough to be memorable.

What am I Signing? A short explanation helps the client understand the impact of what they are signing without all the legal mumbo-jumbo of a contract. It’s enough to explain the point and nothing more.

What’s Next? Once signed, what does that actually mean to the client. This is a friendly reminder of the next steps which will be taken on the project along with a statement about what it means to give approval to this task.

Get to Know Us. A quick “Thank you” followed by a “Did you know?” We see this as another opportunity to interact with our clients in a way which helps us better know each other.

I sincerely hope you try using Wufoo to replace the old sign & fax forms of the 80′s. I’d like to hear the results if you do make the switch.